Friday, July 31, 2009

¿Usted habla español?

Paddlesports Safety

¡Si usted canoa en el río o kayak en el lago, el ACA ahora tiene recursos disponibles en español!

De nuestra serie de folletos de paleta segura paleta inteligente a un PowerPoint informativo, el ACA continúa apoyando la educación de los paddlesports a través del país.

Para aprender más sobre los materiales del recurso del ACA en español, chasque

Jessica Pacheco
ACA Office Manager

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The 2009 Open Canoe Slalom Championships

Gate 17: Mulberry Fork Races, AL

The ACA's 2009 National Open Canoe Slalom Championship starts July 31st and will go until August 2nd. The race is going to take place in Wausau, Wisconsin at the Wausau course which is located in east channel of the Wisconsin River.

Wausau Kayak/Canoe Corporation exists to be an educational resource to whitewater kayak and canoe enthusiasts, and to provide a premier venue for paddle sport related activities in local communities and internationally. This is a great venue that has hosted numerous Championships. Each competitor can race in up to seven classes with a maximum of three classes a day. Chairs for this year’s event are Ruth Jaeger, Pete Steffes, and Brian Heikenen.

This is going to be a great event filled with all kinds of racing and fun. Esquif is going to be giving away a boat! I hope to see everyone there. More information is available at

Kasey Kaplan
Intern - Safety Education & Instruction Department

Thursday, July 23, 2009

NEW ACA Member Log In

Photo courtesy of Samantha Ladd

It's another great week at the ACA!

As most of you know we have been going through technology upgrades over the last few months and we are finally starting to realize the benefits of these upgrades.

The most exciting improvement is the Member Login option that has been added to the home page of

This option will allow our valued ACA members to create a user id and password using their ACA number. Once this user id and password has been established you can login to update your profile information such as address and phone number. In addition, you can use our Join or Renew Forms to do online renewals.

We are continuing to enhance our online features and hope to have additional web based tools for our membership in the upcoming months.

At times, technology can be challenging, but when you see the benefits of the hard work, it is hopefully worth the wait!

Hope you all will check it out.

Happy web surfing,
Melissa Upp
Director, Information Technology

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paddle America Club

Coastal CanoeistsOver the weekend, I had the privilege of paddling with the Coastal Canoeists and attending their annual summer meeting. This Virginia based paddling club has been serving the regional interests of paddlers since the 1960's. From recreational trips for beginners to advocating for access and improved water quality, the Coastals do it all. After a great day on the Balcony Falls section of the James River (just below the confluence with the Maury River), we had a pot luck dinner and meeting at a nearby National Forest Service campground.

The ACA is proud to support our Paddle America Clubs and Organizational Affiliates.

If there is anything we can do for your club, we're just a phone call or email away.

Find a paddling club near you.

Oh, and if you like paddling apparel, make sure you check out the Coastal's truckers hat!

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Power of Paddlers

Over the past months, the Illinois DNR and the state Legislature have been reviewing proposed legislation that would prohibit one from being able to access the portages around low-head dams in the state, establishing a 350' exclusion zone.

In a clear victory for the Paddling Community. The Legislature's JCAR Committee, meeting in Springfield, July 15 voted eleven in favor (with one member voting present) to send The Dam Safety Rule# 3703 back to the DNR to be completely rewritten. A phone call and letter writing campaign that began in the Second Edition of the Illinois Paddling Council newsletter on March 16 with the words

"Either we paddlers show that we are a force to be dealt with and mount an effective campaign against this legislation, or we allow the politicians to write us off, and bring about the permanent loss of something we treasure."

has now shown that the Paddling Community in Illinois has truly come of age, and is a force for change in our state.

(We are indebted to Eric Sprenne for his willingness to drive to Springfield to attend this meeting and for his always reliable research, and writing throughout this campaign)
During the discussion prior to the vote virtually all of the concerns that we have been raising about 3703 were cited by JCAR members.

We have been hearing for some time that Legislators were receiving very large numbers of calls and letters, but we didn't know what effect this was having until JCAR sent 3703 back to the DNR with questions two weeks ago. DNR chose not to modify the rule and today's action by JCAR was the result.

The 350' exclusion zones, are not likely to again see the light of day, and the portages are likely to remain open. This is a clear reprieve for paddlers on the Fox, Rock, Kankakee, DesPlaines, and Sangamon rivers.

We must continue to remain vigilant because the rule will be rewritten. The Paddling Council will be formally offering to work with the DNR as they rewrite #3703. We are hopeful that a new rule that might actually make dams more safe can be written. We will continue to monitor progress closely and keep you informed.

Our thanks to the other members of the Protest Steering Committee Sigrid Pilgrim and Gary Mechanic, and most of all, we want to thank all of you who wrote, emailed, called, and signed the petition. You have shown that aroused citizens in Illinois can still make a difference.

Tom Lindblade
Editor - The Illinois Paddler
President Illinois Paddling Council

This blog was taken and edited from the Illinois Paddling Council July 15, 2009 "Illinois Paddler" Newsletter. Congratulations to the IPC for their efforts in maintaining access to the rivers in the state of Illinois.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

First Aid & CPR Requirement

Photo Courtesy of Landmark LearningAttention all ACA Instructors and Instructor Trainers:

First Aid & age appropriate CPR will soon be requirements to maintain your ACA certification.

Please review:

If you have any questions, please contact the SEI Department.

Photo Courtesy of Landmark Learning.

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Monday, July 13, 2009

Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver Nationals

Boat Jigging
The 2009 Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver National race took place this past week in West Forks Maine on the Kennebec and the Lower Dead River. The Kennebec was running around 9300 cfs and the Lower Dead was running between 2000-5000 cfs. Competitors had to race through almost 6 miles of class 1-3+ whitewater for the down river race and about 1.5 miles of whitewater for the sprints. Wednesday July 1st was an official practice day. Racers from all over the country were present and eager to race.

The first day of competition was on July 2nd and took place on the Kennebec River. OC-2 Mixed and OC-2 (10-16/25-up) classes were racing.

All sprint classes raced on the 3rd. The sprints were held on the Lower Dead river. The two main rapids competitors raced through were Upper and Lower Popler. Some of the most popular classes were F16 OC-1 men and F16 OC-2 men. Charlie Bracket and I tied for the fastest F16 OC-1 men time. Jeff Owens and Chip Loring had the fastest F16 OC-2 time. Later that night, at the awards ceremony, Chis Stec and I gave a presentation about the history of competition and the ACA.

On Saturday July 4th the most popular race took place, OC-1 men. Many racers battled for the first place position, but in the end Charlie Bracket had the fastest time in the F16 class and Jeff Owen had the fastest F14 time. In addition to the OC-1 men’s race, the OC-2 Women’s race took place. Once again there was a lot of intense racing, but Tammy Kelley and Laurie Stearns wound up winning.

The final day of competition was on July 5th. Although many racers were tired from racing the previous days, there times did not reflect this. In the OC-2 men’s race Zane Havens and Keith Havens won the F14 class while Clayton Cole and Justin Wardwell won the F16 class.

After almost a week of racing everyone was exhausted. The ACA, all the racers, and I personally would like to thank everyone that contributed to the race.

Information about the 2010 WWOCD Championship race and this years race
are available at

Kasey Kaplan
Intern - Safety Education & Instruction Department

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fredericksburg, VA News

ACA National Paddlesports Center - Conceptual DesignACA Executive Director Marty Bartels was recently interviewed by the Free Lance-Star.

Read the July 3rd, Fredericksburg newspaper article for the latest details.

For more information about paddlesports Education, Stewardship, or Recreation, please visit

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Monday, July 6, 2009

National Paddlesports Conference

ACA National Paddlesports ConferenceDon't forget there are only 150 places available for the ACA National Paddlesports Conference.

From Instructor Updates to educational sessions designed just for Clubs, this event has something to offer for everyone, whether your paddle once a week or once a year!

There will be skills courses and rescue clinics, Wilderness First Aid and canoe poling, kayak rolling and the film premier of Kent Ford's The Call of the River.

Mark October 23-25 on your calendar and plan to travel to historic Fredericksburg, VA.

Join us at the 2009 ACA National Paddlesports Conference.

Reserve your spot, register today!

Chris Stec on the Selway River, Idaho
Paddle Safe - Paddle Often,
Christopher Stec
Safety Education & Instruction Department

Friday, July 3, 2009

Celebrate Independence With Life Jacket Wear

Dear Friend,

Independence Day weekend is one of the heaviest traffic times of the summer travel season, and the water is no exception. Just as seatbelt wear is a natural part of driving to your celebration destination, routine and consistent life jacket wear should also be a part of all water activities during the holiday and the rest of summer boating season.

Independence Day weekend is one of the top times for boating accidents. By making sure everyone on a boat ride takes advantage of a life jacket by choosing to
“Wear It!,” boaters can take the No. 1 step toward greater water safety.

There’s no reason why everyone can’t have fun on the water while also choosing to always wear a life jacket. Because the weekend of the Fourth may be one of the only times some people get on a boat the entire summer, every boat operator needs to remember to share the "Wear It!" message.

Approximately 90 percent of recreational boating drowning victims weren’t wearing a life jacket. Fortunately, life jacket wear is easy and convenient with a range of today’s comfortable, stylish styles. 

Remember, a life jacket’s not going to do any good unless you’re wearing it. The bulky styles that may have discouraged life jacket wear in the past have been replaced by superior options that both feel and look good. It’s especially important for novice boaters who are planning to take to the water this Independence Day holiday to be prepared: Do like other smart boaters and "Wear It!"
Have a safe and relaxing Independence Day weekend. For more safe boating tips, please visit


Virgil Chambers
Executive Director
National Safe Boating Council

For more information, visit

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The 2009 Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver National

OC-2 Men's

The 2009 Whitewater Open Canoe Downriver National (WWOCD) race will take place in West Forks Maine on the Lower Dead River the 1st-5th of July. The river is dam released and is expected to be running around 1300 cfs throughout the competition. The river is comparable in difficulty to the Youghiogheny River, PA where the 2007 WWOCD National race took place.

Competitors will be racing down almost 13 miles of class 1-3+ whitewater for the Down River Category. The sprint section will cover a distance of 1.2 miles and go through some of the most challenging rapids on the river. Paddlers from all over the country are expected to attend.

The race is being hosted and sponsored by ACA New England, an ACA Paddle America Club. The race chair is Clayton Cole.

Kasey Kaplan
Intern - Safety Education & Instruction Department